The Cork Board

Nothing so certain as Death, Taxes and Upgrades.

At the turn of time, from BC (Before Computers ) to AD (After Digitisation) I became a PC man. Microsoft Windows. I’ve learnt the shortcuts, I’m proficient with the basics and a little more. I can usually address something before the point of throwing the damn thing through the window.

But, now, I am seriously considering becoming an Apple man. Upon the purchase of a new pc, from that pregnant moment of anticipation when your credit card quivers in your hand, through the plastic purchase to taking your baby home and plugging in your “brand spanking new working just fine with it’s increased RAM and storage” zapping machine, there is nothing so certain as death, taxes, and upgrades.

You know, that with Windows set to search for upgrades automatically, one day, your “upgrade” will be a “downgrade” and you are on the slippery slide back down the snake to Square One, standing in front of the salesman with your credit card in your hand. This happens to me every time – without fail, and I am beginning once again.

I have this feeling that upgrades are developed by pc nerds to give themselves something to do. I suspect you will not find the adage “If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it” anywhere in the Microsoft company Welcoming Pack. Rather “ Go forth and Upgrade” .

My pc was working fine before I went on holiday. Upon returning after a week’s break my machine automatically downloaded an upgrade or two and now my pc randomly freezes. I have spent days trying to fix this. All my drivers are up to date, my Firewall and Virus Kill is ass-tight, Registry Keys are cleaner than a clean thing. Random freeze.

Last resort, I restored the system to a point before my holiday and “Bingo” –  I had two days without a freeze. Cracked it ! Er, no, Automatic Updates struck when I booted this morning and BAMM – freeze. Patience thinner than the fetching lace on a ladies nighty.

… fetching lace ….gratuitous pic to lighten up a pc rant … although judging by her expression her pc keeps crashing too (image.

So, Microsoft, it’s been fun mostly. Thank you for bringing me into the cyber world, I made some new friends and re-found some old ones, but next time, and I suspect it won’t be long now, I’m off to the other side. It’s all been one upgrade too far, I’m afraid.

15 thoughts on “Nothing so certain as Death, Taxes and Upgrades.”

  1. I need to say up front that I am an Apple person. I don’t like windows. I had an IBM which lasted for years and years and years and its longevity delayed me buying an apple for personal use (I’d used them at work).

    The attraction of Apple for me is the simplicity of the OS. If you want to do clever things and fiddle with it, you can do that as well, I’ve just never had the time to learn – or inclination to mess with a perfectly good system.

    I’m currently using a MacBookPro dating from the early part of 2007. I think it is Tiger, it’s so old they’ve introduced lots of new versions of the OS since. I’m on 10.4. It works well enough for me. I did buy one additional programme – iwork, which has a graphic design/DTP, spreadsheet and presentation combination. I don’t use the presentation but I do use the others a lot.

    I did think about buying Aperture (photo programme obviously) but never got round to it as I use the freebie that came with my Canon digicamera.

    The logicboard crashed once (a known problem on my model apparently) and it cost a fortune to replace – out of guarantee. I didn’t take the insurance as I’d never had comp problems before. I would consider it next time, as Apple repairs are pricey.

    My husband rarely gets chance to use the computer, but he also thinks it’s great. Apple people are a bit arrogant and preachy, but if you are interested in trying it, I’d say go ahead. Not because it is expensive, or trendy, but to me, because it is a better OS. And the design is nice too of course 😉

    1. Thanks for all the info, RSITM, that’s very helpful. Everyone who uses Apple tells me they’re better. I think it’s time to try. 🙂

  2. I was able to get a new Mac a few years ago, before my life (and finances) crashed. They’re very intuitive, although when I took a class summer before last in the newest version of Windows, that felt better to me than it had before. But not better than a Mac.

    My Mac never downloads anything without asking first unless I’ve set something to do it automatically. I wonder if you’ve got something set do that without knowing it and can change it somehow before resetting again? Anyway, I wish you much luck with it all, however you go. I know how vexing it can be.

    1. The pc is still working but I live with the fear of a freeze and losing something in mid-stream. I thought I had it sorted but clearly not. It looks like I’m going to have to sell my soul on Ebay to raise the funds though. I wonder if the Devil shops there. Oh well.

  3. In the UK, Macs are incredibly expensive, so I haven’t gone that route… However, I’m not happy at all about the idea of Windows 8 and if and when my current computer goes the way of its predecessors, I’ll have to either have windows 7 and hope I can keep that for years or head in the Mac direction and pay a small fortune for the privilege.

    1. I agree, Val, they are expensive and that’s one of the main reasons I haven’t gone that way before. I’m even considering having a pc built for me, without all the unnecessary garbage that gets loaded with shop bought packages. We’ll have to see. Thanks for stopping by and commenting and good luck with your own pc quest.

  4. Good luck. 🙂 I was an adamant Windows user for years and years, until earlier this year when my PC died and Erik had a MacBook he was ready to hand over to me. At first it confused me a lot — the Mac OS takes everything out of your hands, which I didn’t like since I was used to setting up all my own organization on Windows — but it’s just amazing how much smoother everything runs. I still kind of miss certain things about Windows (and some time-consuming games that aren’t available for Mac… but maybe that’s a good thing) but I don’t think I could go back to all the problems and yes, upgrades and whatnot. Also the MacBook is pretty to look at. 😉

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Lisa. Despite the expense, it’s looking more and more likely that this will be my Christmas present (with any luck). 🙂

  5. Loved this post! Credit card quivering in your hand was my favorite line. And isn’t that the way – you do everything right and bamm, something happens that you spend days trying to undo. I’ve been at the point of wanted to throw things out the window, too. Good luck! Let us know how the new system works for you.

    1. Thanks, Lynn. I might have to struggle on for a while yet whilst I persuade my wife that £1000 ($1600) is the right amount for our next machine. Microsoft come in at half the price.

  6. I have both – a Macbook Pro and a Windows 7 machine. I play streaming music through the house so the mac is a controller for that, as well as the windows machine when needed. Especially like Pandora. Also use the Apple TV box which is awesome for Netflix.(in USA)

    But a quick fix on your windows machine is in order. You need to turn off the auto update. Go into Control Panel, Systems and Security, then windows update. Select pull down menu, “Download updates, but let me choose to install them.” This will prevent the updates from hijacking your machine whenever it wants to. Half those updates are BS anyway, as you mentioned. At least the Mac updates are versioned and it’s up to user to install when they please, or not at all. Now your windows machine will be set up the same way.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for the tip, Gichontree. I’ll do that. Then at least I won’t get so twitchy when work. Thank you very much.

  7. While I currently use Windows, my next laptop will definitely be a MAC (hoping by spring).So far I have had no issues with my trusty Toshiba I know the day is dawning when one day I’ll log on and find the Blue screen of Death..
    let us know how it goes for you!!

    1. Ah, the Blue Screen of Death. We have become acquainted on more than one occasion. I had the final crash at the weekend and in desparation found a one-man repair shop in the next village to us. He kept my machine for the weekend and rang me on Monday to say that it was fixed. And, fingers crossed, it seems to be. But I think it’s Apple for me next time. There is a reason why all the IT guys have Macs on their desks.

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